Please permit me to interrupt your Stormy Daniels programming for a moment.
Americans’ satisfaction with the economy is soaring under President Trump, with the number who view conditions positively at the highest point in nearly two decades, according to a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
Fifty-three percent of Americans now say the economy is in either good or excellent shape, the highest tally since January 2001, just before Bill Clinton left office. That means that Americans already have a more-positive view of the economy under Trump than at any time under his two predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
The number of Americans with a looking favorably on the economy has soared more than 20 points since the question was asked by Pew in late November and early December of 2016, just after Trump was elected, when only 31 percent said things were going well. The tax cut package signed in December 2017 by Trump appears to have had some effect, given that number offering a positive opinion of the economy has jumped 12 points from 41 percent the last time the poll was taken in October 2017.
Americans would appear to have the data on their side. In 2017, the economy grew at more than three percent for two straight quarters – the second and third – for the first time since 2014. Fourth quarter growth was a solid 2.5 percent.
The positive view of the economy is driven by Republicans, 74 percent of whom now rate conditions as good or excellent. But more than a third of Democrats, 37 percent, also have a positive view of the way things are going.
Still, only 30 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with conditions in the country generally, exactly the same proportion as just after Trump’s election. Fifty percent say their personal finances are either good or excellent, just four points higher than in the late November-early December 2016 poll.
According to the same Pew poll, the cost of healthcare has the highest effect of any factor on people’s financial situations, with 53 percent saying it impacts them “a lot,” even eight years after Barack Obama signed the “Affordable Care Act.” Food and consumer good prices placed second at 48 percent. Though Trump frequently touts the extraordinary gains in stock prices since he became president, just 21 percent say the stock market affects their financial situation a lot.
The vast majority of American expect the economy to stay the same or get better. Only a quarter expect conditions to worsen over the next year.
The poll was conducted March 7-14 among 1,466 adults and released March 22. For data about perceptions of the economy before February 2004, Pew uses Gallup polling data.